Backstage Etiquette for Guests: The Dos & Dont’s

WORDS: Kalisi Luv


Whether your best pal is playing in the band, or your partner is the headliner, etiquette is a must when you’re exploring the mysterious and enchanting world of the backstage lounge. Remember, this space was not created for you nor have you earned the right to be there by somehow being tied to one of the artists for the evening. Therefore, it is important to always remain respectful to all of the talent and their guests, as well as the space itself, when chillin’ backstage. The main function of this area is not to cater to your needs, but to provide a chill, warm-up space where artists can prepare or debrief after their sets. Remember, you are a guest and can be kicked out at any time, so keep it positive and savor the experience.

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Dos

  • Snap some sweet selfies and share on instagram/twitter to help hype the show and the night’s talent. Make sure to tag any talent that wants to join in!
  • Introduce yourself. Everyone wants to know who you are just as much as you want to know them. Make some new friends, find a crew to hang with once your friend/partner is playing and make sure it’s front row and centre!
  • Deliver a drink to the artist you know who is performing. Make sure to ask them before their set if that’s okay and what they’d like.
  • Get to know the bouncers. These guys often have various negative interactions during the night on account of their job so try to shed some light in the darkness by chatting them up (when they aren’t busy). I have found that these guys tend to get a little lonely always having to stand on the outskirts of the action in order to properly monitor the crowd. But be sure to take any hints to ‘move along’ and keep the conversation short as not to distract/disrupt them while they are working.
  • Enjoy the performance. The least coolest thing you can do is hang out backstage the whole time. Get out on the dance floor and support the artists! At the very least, make sure to stand on side stage to get the best front-row experience.
  • Leave when asked to. If you are asked, for any reason, to leave: do it. Don’t argue. This space is for artists only and you have been granted a guest pass which can be revoked at any time no matter who you are and who you know.

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Don’ts

  • Dance on stage unless asked to. If you want to dance on stage make sure to run it by the promoter and the performer first. Nobody likes a DJ Hoe, especially one with no rhythm.
  • Drink or eat anything unless offered. Any food and beverage left backstage is for the talent, not you. So don’t grab anything unless either the promoter or talent offers it to you. You wouldn’t go to someone’s house and start raiding the cupboard, would you?
  • Try to talk to the artist while they are performing. I’ve seen this a lot during DJ sets, people trying to have conversations with the artist while they are trying to mix. Save it for later buddy, nothing is that important unless they have asked you to come chat. Any kind of musical artist needs space to move and the worst thing that could happen is equipment being bumped, spilt on or unplugged because of a chatty guest.
  • Hang out in the backroom the entire night. Even if the artist you are there to see isn’t playing, make sure you get out to the dance floor and support the other acts. The music community is all about spreading the love so be sure to support everyone. Plus, not everyone is allowed backstage and I’m sure your friends would love to dance with you.
  • Make a mess. Don’t go backstage and leave all your belongings strewn around, backstage is not your personal coat check. If there is an area for items tuck them away so there is space for everyone. Additionally, if you spill anything make sure to clean it up. Don’t just leave it for the next person to sit/step/slip in. Respect.
  • Stick around after the event has ended. When the night is done and it is time to either scope out after parties or slip under the covers, don’t hang around backstage unless asked to by the artists, promoter or bar staff. The last thing that bouncers like doing is kicking people out and you’re just making their job harder. Say thank you for the show, grab your crew, and move on to the next destination for the night so bar staff can go home.

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Maybe you’re new to the backstage life and want to make sure you are invited back or maybe you know someone who needs to give this a read, either way #Spreadtheluv and share this article on your newsfeed. Do you have any more tips? Leave them in the comments below!

Instagram/Twitter: @Kalisiluv

1 Comment on Backstage Etiquette for Guests: The Dos & Dont’s

  1. Love the article, then saw pumpkin in the last photo and haz a sad now.

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